As a technology journalist I feel compelled to do this, every once in a while. Jot up some of the newest techs — rather, gadgets, mostly smartphones and tablets — and provide my two cents. Though, I’m not much of a techie, and techie’s will certainly make fun of me when I slip up, but that doesn’t matter. I guess. I’m looking at this as an average dude that doesn’t much of an idea about the technology world.
- Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge
They’re both gorgeous. Finally, Sammy got rid of the plastic and pushed through with building something metallic – which actually feels premium on hand. They’ve managed to do so, without actually putting too much weight on the devices. The Gorilla Glass panels are nice, but anything other than white, leaves a bad smudge of fingerprints. Also, the S6 edge has a few cool gimmicks like the Edge Lighting. But ultimately, I’m not interested in Samsung. The prices for these two in this back alley country are ridiculous – and they’re trying too hard to compete with Apple, and with the obvious design similarities, Samsung is proving that Apple is a leader in the smartphone industry. In the end, people are just paying the high price for the looks, when they are other smarter options.
- ASUS Zenfone 2
The Zenfones 4, 5, and 6, had been amazing, and everyone pretty much got caught off guard with its more than ok specs and its really awesome price. I’ve got two buddies buying the Zenfone 5 and one Zenfone 4. I’ve seen people in trains, out of 10 of them, I could spot at least 1 or 2 each day using the Zenfone 5. I’ve never seen much use the 4, but I’ve never seen anyone use the 6. There was one girl that’s part of the ASUS team who does, I don’t know if that counts.
Anyway, now the Zenfone 2 is out in some countries, and since I’m not writing for the newspaper this time around – I can openly say, without remorse, the Zenfone 2 lacks the ambitious achievement the previous ones had. For starters, features like Kid Mode is nothing new, I don’t know who started that but I’ve been seeing it as far as 2012 with Samsung’s Ativ S. Touch gestures that opens a specific app while the device is asleep, is also nothing new, China-peeps like Oppo has done that already and more often than not, those stuff is a disappointment. Oppo’s only working touch gesture shortcut thing only worked on their camera app and nothing else. I’m not sure how much ASUS has improved on that, but please, it’s nothing innovative. SnapView is another thing, Samsung has Knox, which is pretty much identical – it opens up a different interface with a different password to protect private data. Again, nothing mind blowing. Double tap to wake up the device, again, it’s nothing fantastic, cause LG has been doing that, and it’s quite irksome while in the pocket.
Then there’s the design, it features a metallic hairline finish that feels premium on hand. I love it, holding it is solid, and steps on most devices made with plastic. But the thing is, the button placements have been shifted. Volume buttons have been moved from the side to the back, where the index finger could reach it with no hassle (or more of a hassle, it’s a love-hate thing, as far as I’m aware of, personally I love it – G3 user here!). The thing is, back buttons have been around, I could be wrong, but if my poor memory serves, this crazy idea to put buttons at the back of the phone started with LG’s G2, which made headlines a few years back. The difference is the power button, which has been placed on top of the Zenfone 2. That button is darn hard to press and is a bit hard to reach. But the happy thought is, you don’t need the power button since you can double-tap the screen. So, the Zenfone 2’s power button firmness issue, not a big deal, and the button itself isn’t really necessary — unless the phone crashes.
ASUS has carefully selected features from other flagship devices, leaving out some of the useless ones (fingerprint scanner, seriously, only Apple has done that right), and summed it all into their very own, Zenfone 2. Now here’s the kicker, the Zenfone 2 will price is the mind blowing part. You get all these awesome specs, pretty features, but it’s always the price that will set this thing apart from the rest. In a recent event, I flew all the way to Indonesia for the release there, and the 4GB RAM version roughly costs 5 million rupias, which is about 350 US dollars. I haven’t checked actual prices from other countries, a high-spec smartphone with a cost of 3 or 4 Galaxy S6 edges? Worth it.
- Macpower Marketing’s Pacquiao vs Mayweather Jr
Okay, this is more of an unofficial advertisement for a friend of mine. He works at this place called Macpower Marketing, which is a distributor of gadget accessories like Fluxmob, that Woodford lightning cable thing, and MB Quart Bluetooth speakers, for example. They’ve been having it tough for now, well, mainly because they’re stuff are expensive. In this back alley country, just cause you got a freaking iPhone don’t mean you’re a person of wealth. In this back alley country, a lot of people with low income has an iPhone, or the most expensive Android device out there. People find ways, sometimes dirty. So anyway, this Macpower people, they’re sponsoring tickets for the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr fight, this May. If you’re around this back alley country, give those dudes’ FB page a like. They’ve got awesome stuff, just expensive.
- Sony Xperia Z4
Oh man. This stuff is an embarrassment. Don’t even bother Sony, just, get rid of the Xperia line for good. You’ve ruined it for all eternity. When Sony released it in Japan only, they even bother putting up a huge event as they usually do. It’s like, they’ve accepted defeat, and just threw this lame product out there. Don’t get me wrong, the Z4 has some pretty awesome specs. But if you know Sony’s history, what the hell is the deal with releasing flagship devices every 6 months? And the leap between devices hasn’t been that great as well. Sure, the jump from the Sony-Ericsson line to a the first Xperia Z was brilliant. Then Z1 came out, and it’s awesome! Z2 came out 6 months later, and it’s not much different from the Z1, and it just pissed people off. Z3 came out, and it looks different, but the innards are only a slight upgrade, which pissed more people off – if you’ve never owned a Sony Xperia, then it’s brilliant, otherwise, it’s crap. Then now, Z4… Sony, I really want you to succeed, and I’m darn sure am not alone in this, but you’re making it way too hard for us to love your phones. But this isn’t working. You’ve gotten rid of your Vaio laptops, and humor has it, even the Bravia line. Okay, fine, just don’t give up on the PlayStation consoles! It’s my entire, sad, gaming life. Also, from what I’ve learned, Sony will be exploring more onto VR technology, so, let’s see.
- LG G4
I have nothing to say about it. I haven’t checked its specs, its leaked stuff, or whatever. All I know it’s coming out this week or the next, the ASEAN release will be held on Singapore, if memory serves. Ever since I’ve shifted from Samsung Ativ S to a more measly LG L70, and upgraded to an LG G3, I’ve never been happier with my mobile device. I’ve never bought a phone before, ever, and most of the devices I used were from the office. But the G3 has been the exception, cause I believed it was high time to get my own stuff, which I did a few weeks ago. A part of me wished I got the G3 Stylus instead, it’s got lower specs but with longer lasting battery life. But the few thousand-shedding made the difference. So, anyway, I’m placing blatant faith in LG to bring out a really awesome phone in the form of G4.